Gaston College is dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs and course offerings. The mission of our online programs at Gaston College is to promote accessibility to educational programs through online learning opportunities to enable students to attain their educational goals.

What is Distance Education?

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Distance education provides educational opportunities for students who are separated from the instructor by time and/or physical distance.

Gaston College offers two main types of distance education courses:

Internet courses meet online, where students receive lessons, complete assignments, and communicate in a virtual classroom. Students must have regular access to a computer and the internet; have good computer skills; work independently; and be self-motivated. Internet courses have course content, a schedule for completing online assignments, and require a minimum of 2-4 hours of independent study per course credit hour. Generally students are NOT required to come to campus; however, some Internet courses may require proctored tests/presentations or labs to complete the course.

Hybrid/Web-Assisted courses meet onsite and online, as designated on the course schedule. While these courses utilize some of the same technologies as Internet courses, students also attend some face-to-face sessions.

Many of our traditional face-to-face courses will use Blackboard to supplement instruction.

QEP – SAIL (Strengthening Academic Internet Learning)

An image of SAIL logoIn support of our mission to promote student success and lifelong learning, the College has developed SAIL to provide a high quality learning experience for students in online courses. Over the five years of SAIL, designated online courses will be required to create an ideal online environment for student learning. Our top priority is to create excellence in all online courses to enhance the web-based learning of students.

The benefit of SAIL is threefold: to promote student learning; respond to increased demand for distance education; and expand our commitment to online course excellence and to distance education as a viable method of course delivery.

The Executive Summary highlights the SAIL project, or you may see the entire QEP document.